The Garden Hits of 2010

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Not. Many.

Really. It wasn’t the most phenomenal summer for vegetables that I have experienced, my first year was far better than last year. I tend to start planning what I am going to grow, oh, as soon as the glitter from New Year’s has been swept away.

Part of that is looking honestly at what I succeeded at and what was a complete failure, assessing the reasons why they failed or succeeded and deciding if I am going to grant garden space to them this year again.

So I thought I would start with my successes this year and cheer myself up on this snowy, blowy Alberta  day.

First success and something I was glad to finally get done:

My raised garden beds! Over 96 square feet of gardening space tucked in beside the back parking pad, where otherwise earth would just be wasted.

close up of garden beds on the side of the fence

In fact, I am rather proud of the entire set-up in the back this year. For those of you new to my place, this is the back cement parking pad where a garage would be built for the house.

Obviously, we are never building a garage, because I would choose gardening space first. I am crazed like that. Who needs a garage when you have have fruits n’ veggies.

This space is going to be expanded next year I do believe….. the poles you see have deer fence inbetween them, the black netting, to keep out the rabbits in the neighborhood.

And they DO try. The neighbor behind us told me he watched one in amusement as it desperately tried to find somewhere to get in.

garden beds on the side of the fence and planting pots

My lemon boy tomatoes. These were sweet, juicy and fared the best out of all the varieties I tried. Some still developed black spots, but nothing compared to the red tomatoes that cracked and failed.

three pieces of lemon boy tomatoes in a wooden tray

Honeyberries! These were a delightful surprise, not only that they produced the first year but we all loved the flavor, a cross between a blueberry and a saskatoon. I am very hopeful these will produce more this year.

close up of growing honeyberries

Potatoes. They were fantastic and I bemoaned the fact I didn’t plant any more. I am going to do some container ones and try the method of continuously adding soil to build up a huge tuber system that produces, supposedly, a ton of taters.

close up of newly harvest piece of potato

The kids favorite: raspberries. They were awesome producers this year. Gotta love those weeds.

pieces of raspberries in the palm of a kid

The beet leaves made an excellent salad this year, something we haven’t eaten before other than wrapping them around dough for perishke. Fantastic in a salad!

close up of fresh beet leaves

My teeny, tiny, poor rabbit-attacked apple tree in the front produced 6 apples for it’s first year.

I love this tree like a child. These were the Ruby Red, the two other graft branches on the tree were damaged by those damn rabbits but should, hopefully, produce this year.

apple tree with two green fruits

I grew peppers. This simple sentence has me dancing around in glee.

Real peppers. Full size, sweet, red and yellow peppers.

Not many, but I did it.

I am going to follow Ron’s advice and put them in pots this year, to move them into the hottest places places possible. But considering the crap weather we had this year, any peppers were a win.

Speaking of Ron, please let there be another Edible Garden Tour this year, I look forward to it SO much.

I also know some crazy gardening dude who should be on the places to stop and gawk. He makes me look sane, a miracle in itself.

Not mentioning any names, Kevin.  Actually, you could just hold a day seminar at your house.

close up of red and yellow peppers

I was brave enough to take a picture of my most hated insect.

I kinda wanna faint just looking at it.  Creepy, jumpy little freaks.

close up of a grasshopper in a leaf

From what I gather, ANY parsnips can be counted as a success, they can be so persnickety. Persnickety parsnips, I like it.

newly harvest parsnips in a wooden trray

Other successes:

My Romaine lettuce was delicious when picked small, and very prolific.

My parsley was sooo tasty.

I did get a couple cauliflower, and the ones I did were delish.

I don’t think I will grow the parsnips again, only because my children prefer carrots over anything else. I also think I am going to try a red bean “teepee” this year and put peas on the back netting instead, another favorite of the kids.

Upcoming, of course, is a post of my garden fails of 2010. I am pretty sure every gardener in Edmonton sees tomatoes at the top of that list!

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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  1. Karlynn says

    I am hopeful that someone else is taking over this year, I heard Claudia Bolli, who “co-hosted” the tour last year, was supposed to take over. I will have to drop her a line and see what’s up, it’s such an awesome day!

  2. Kevin says

    When the edible garden tour comes up again, I want to go with you.

    I’m glad you have haskap too – I’ve got 2 young ones, and also have big hopes for the fruit.

    And you get BIG marks for forgetting the garage and doing a garden instead. That takes gumption. Well done.

    Ah, gardening.

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